← Techstars Blog

Saturday will be a big day for you and your team. There will be research, product/service design and testing, asking customers for feedback, and meeting with mentors. There will be delicious food and snacks as well.

You will be able to interact with several mentors and ask them questions. Our mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts. They will answer your questions and help guide you towards building a strong foundation for your startup.

Yesterday I mentioned the following list for identifying the key facets of your business.

  • Market Size
  • Customers (go out and ask people for feedback)
  • Value Proposition
  • Product/Service Design
  • Product/Service Development
  • Marketing
  • Business Model

As you develop your business idea, be sure to ask the mentors questions. The mentors have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer you and want you to succeed. Also, being able to answer and elaborate on these topics will help you create your 3-minute presentation and prepare for the judges’ Q&A. You want to show the judges the strength and potential of your startup.

Let’s use the list above and dive into the specifics that you will discover about your startup idea. I will cover the first three topics now and address the final four in another blog post.

What is your Market Size?

BusinessDictionary.com defines Market Size as “the number of individuals in a certain market who are potential buyers and/or sellers of a product or service.” It’s important to know your demographics, buying patterns of potential customers, cost margins and more. Check out these great articles from entrepreneur.com:

Who are your Customers?

Your team will want to find your targeted demographics and ask them questions. This is where you get to test your ideas, in the marketplace. These individuals will be spending money and/or time with your product or service so it’s important to collect data on a variety of related topics. The following articles will get you started.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is a statement of a product or service that solves a customer’s problem, delivers value, and tells the customer why they should buy from your company and not the competition.

For instance, have you ever wondered how Apple™ can transform a phone into something magical? They package the features of the phone into a user experience. An example is cell phone encryption. Apple™ presents the iPhone’s encryption capabilities with its’ easy-to-use Touch ID feature. In this instance, Apple™  simplified a technical topic into a feature that is easy to use and easy to understand and thus is an example of a value proposition. [The Touch ID feature allows the user to unlock their phone with a fingerprint. The key feature is how Apple™ keeps the fingerprint safe since they do not store an image of it. Apple™ converts it into an “intricate piece of math.”]

Visit this link at ConversionXL.com to understand the details of a value proposition and why your business needs one.

I hope you see the value in developing your business ideas. Creating products and services that solve specific problems is a fun and creative exercise. This is the Startup Weekend experience we strive to create. We hope you are looking forward to this weekend. We are!

I cover the final four business facets in the next post.

Brandi Volpe